Conrad Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Downtown, Miami, Florida

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

Cons

Bottom Line

Taking up 17 floors of a 36-story downtown skyscraper, this Hilton luxury offshoot has some swanky touches -- a rooftop pool, a top-notch spa and gym, 500-thread-count linens, and spacious standard rooms. It goes toe-to-toe with the neighboring JW Marriott. What's the difference? The Conrad has a better bar and restaurant; the Marriott has better service.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A luxury offshoot from the Hilton brand, the Conrad feels like any other business hotel despite its spiffy 36-story Downtown tower.

The trendy Bar at Level 25
The trendy Bar at Level 25

Muzak, or something close to it, always seems to be playing in the background at the Conrad. The soft-synth facsimiles I heard playing during my stay included Madonna's "Live to Tell" and Smokey Robinson's "The Tracks of My Tears" -- a fitting soundtrack to a hotel that strikes some, but not most, of the same tones as a boutique property.

The hotel's 203 guest rooms and 103 residences take up 17 floors of a 36-story Downtown skyscraper, Espirito Santa Plaza. The rest of the floors are occupied by condos and offices. Taking the elevator to the hotel's lobby on the 25th floor feels more like going to the bank than checking into a hotel, as is the case at many hotels in downtown Miami.

Though branded a luxury outpost of the Hilton chain, the Conrad is still a midrange buisness hotel at heart. It's located in an area that pretty much shuts down after happy hour. Common areas have hip décor, but guest rooms look like any other Hilton.

The trendy bar -- outfitted with mod, arching lamps and lime green booths -- and rooftop pool move the hotel a bit closer in the South Beach boutique direction, but it's a long way off. Service feels corporate, not cozy, and accessing the hotel's promised amenities, from the pool to the pillow menu, isn't easy. The pool, for example, is located on top of the hotel's parking garage and takes three elevator rides and a walk across the street to access it from guest rooms.

Even for a business hotel, the Conrad isn't quite up to snuff. The Wi-Fi is dismally slow -- I clocked upload speeds below 120 Kbps -- making it difficult to get much work done. While the hotel is slightly hipper than the nearby J.W. Marriott, the Marriott's service outshines the Conrad's.

 Location

On Brickell Avenue, Miami's business thoroughfare, the hotel is perfect for business travelers who need to get to work. Those who want to hit the beach -- 15 minutes away by car -- should probably stay elsewhere.

Located in Espirito Santo Plaza, a 36-story mirror of the Biscayne Bay in Miami's Downtown financial district, the hotel shares its building with office space and perminent residences. It's surrounded by banks, office buildings, and high-rise condo towers. By both day and night, four-lane Brickell Avenue has plenty of car traffic but very few pedestrians. Most other business hotels, including the Four Seasons and J.W. Marriott, are just a block or two away. But this part of Downtown shuts down after happy hour, and it can feel like a ghost town on the weekends.

For the beach, South Beach is a 15-minute taxi ride away that will cost you $20 to $25.

 Rooms

Rooms are comfortable but ordinary, save for small touches like bamboo plants, Tazo teas, and a pillow menu.

The Deluxe Bay View King Bed Room
The Deluxe Bay View King Bed Room

Rooms at the Conrad, like the more expensive Four Seasons next door, are quite comfortable. The size of the standard Deluxe room varies quite a bit, ranging from 382 to 586 square feet. In addition to regular guest rooms, the hotel also has studio, one-, and two-bedroom residences available for both long and short stays. All residences feature a full kitchen but no washer/dryers. The hotel has special guest rooms available for the hearing and visually impaired with tactile alarm clocks, phone amplifiers, visual smoke detectors, visual door-knock signalers, and visual phone alerts.

Rooms had soft renovations in 2012, refreshing carpets, beds, and wall paper.

  • 37-42-inch flat-screen TV with premium cable and DVD player
  • Wi-Fi for a fee
  • 500 thread-count sheets on comfortable beds that are stylish, with faux ostrich leather headboards with built-in spot lamps
  • Custom pillows options from "pillow menu" with half a dozen different options, from Posturepedic to water pillows. It took a couple calls to the front desk to get my special pillow -- and the novelty of the water pillow quickly subsided. My head spent most of the night on one of the comfortable standard pillows.
  • bathrooms have nice touches like deep tubs with racks filled with neatly rolled washcloths
  • Soft terry cloth bathrobes provide some of the luxury that the Conrad brand promises
  • Molton Brown toiletries
  • Illy espresso machines
  • iPod docking station
  • Minibar
  • Some rooms feature stunning views of the bay
  • All suites have sofa beds

 Features

With a Guerlain spa, a rooftop pool, tennis courts, and a nice fitness center, the hotel has plenty of amenities to help guests relax. Getting to them is the hard part.

Spa Chakra
Spa Chakra

Getting from a guest room to the pool or tennis courts, located on the roof of the hotel's parking structure, requires taking three elevators and crossing a street. Don't forget your sunscreen.

  • Two tennis courts
  • Outdoor pool with bright green cabanas, a bar, and a [[/miami/hotels/conrad-hotel/photos/jacuzzi-rooftop-pool-conrad-hotel-v198692/ |whirlpool]
  • Spa Chakra
  • 24-hour fitness center is located within the spa
  • The business center is located out in the open, amid common meeting rooms
  • Free downloadable Concierge App where guests can book services before or during their stay, including spa treatments, airport transportation, and even bath amenities

 Family

With a pool and reasonably priced one- and two-bedroom residences, the Conrad is a solid choice for business travelers bringing their families along.

Floaties at The Rooftop Pool
Floaties at The Rooftop Pool

The hotel has a limited supply of adjoining rooms, but they can't be guaranteed until check-in. Even better, the Conrad has one- and two-bedroom residences that, unlike the standard rooms, come with a full kitchen (but no washer/dryers). There are studio, one, and two-bedroom options, and these rooms often cost about the same as the regular suites. No rooms have sleeper sofas, but a rollaway can be brought to any room at no additional cost. Cribs are also available, also at no charge.

Rooms have the Disney Channel OnDemand and DVD players. The hotel has a DVD lending library should more Disney fare be required. Kids get complimentary popcorn upon request. There are also floaties at the pool for kids big and small.

Both the restaurant and in-room dining offer kids' menus.

 Food

Plenty of options in the hotel -- a full-service restaurant, a bar with small plates, poolside dining, and 24-hour room service -- but few outside.

Breakfast options at Atrio
Breakfast options at Atrio
  • The Bar at Lvl 25 serves drinks and small plates, and offers panoramic views
  • Atrio, also on the 25th floor, serves global fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Around the pool, Soleil Bar & Grill serves casual food and drink during afternoon hours
  • In-room dining is available 24 hours a day.

 Bottom Line

Taking up 17 floors of a 36-story downtown skyscraper, this Hilton luxury offshoot has some swanky touches -- a rooftop pool, a top-notch spa and gym, 500-thread-count linens, and spacious standard rooms. It goes toe-to-toe with the neighboring JW Marriott. What's the difference? The Conrad has a better bar and restaurant; the Marriott has better service.

Things You Should Know About Conrad Hotel

Address

  • 1395 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131

Hotel is Also (or Was Formerly) Known As

  • Miami Conrad

Room Types

  • 1 King Studio Residence
  • 3 Bedroom King Bed Residence
  • Corner One Bedroom Bay View Suite
  • Corner One Bedroom City View Suite
  • Deluxe Bay View Room
  • Deluxe Room
  • One Bedroom Bay View Residence
  • One Bedroom Residence
  • Room Selected at Check-in
  • Two Bedroom Bay View Residence

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 200
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Downtown, Miami
Address: 1395 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131
(See Map)
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